A brace from striker Ciaran Bramwell was not enough to prevent Glory from going down to Adelaide United who ran out 4-2 winners in Saturday’s Foxtel Youth League clash at Jack Smith Park.
The Glory youngsters were looking for their first win of the campaign, but found themselves trailing early to a goal from Adelaide’s Hyundai A-League midfielder Nathan Konstandopoulos.
Bramwell duly levelled the score before the break and bagged his and Glory’s second four minutes into the second half.
But the Reds hit back through Taras Gomulka, Daniele Bressan and substitute Massimo Falco to claim all three points.
Glory Head Coach Richard Garcia nonetheless felt that the outcome could have been very different for his inexperienced side.
“I thought we defended well against their forward pressure early, this after they had taken the lead,” he said.
“But I thought we were solid and I thought we deservedly levelled before half time.
“We started the second half well and Ciaran [Bramwell] took his chance well to give us the lead. But to concede from two set-pieces is disappointing; a free kick and a deflected shot was a real kick in the teeth for the boys.
“We pressed late looking for the equaliser, but again a mistake of our own doing, with a stray pass across our goal, puts them in on goal to complete the scoring.
“It was a step in the right direction for this young group and was more in line with the performance we expect.
“It’s now about the finer details in and around the box.”
The hosts’ starting line-up featured several experienced A-League players, notably Konstandopoulos, Ryan Kitto and Lachlan Brook and two of them were involved in the opening goal which arrived after ten minutes.
Konstandopoulos played a neat one-two with Brook before finishing clinically past Jackson Lee.
Eight minutes before half time, however, the visitors restored parity.
Bramwell started the move, holding the ball up well on the halfway line, before playing a neat one-two with Charlie Leech, striding clear and finding the bottom corner of the net.
Glory then made the perfect start to the second half, taking the lead just four minutes in.
Joshua Rawlins made space on the right and his inch-perfect cross found Bramwell who lost his marker and headed into the top corner.
That was as good as it got for Glory, however, as Adelaide lifted and made it 2-2 when Brooks’ free-kick picked out Gomulka who side-footed past Lee.
Fortune then smiled on the home side as they regained the lead six minutes later, Bressan’s shot from the edge of the box taking a deflection off a Glory defender which wrong-footed the unfortunate Lee.
And as Garcia’s side pressed forward in the latter stages, they were caught out on the break as Falco, who had only been on the pitch for three minutes, finished well into the roof of the net.
To their credit, Glory still pushed forward right until the end and went agonisingly close to reducing the arrears when Albert Fullard saw his shot beat home ‘keeper Dakota Ochsenham only to be cleared off the line by Cooper Nunn.
Glory goalscorer Ciaran Bramwell admitted that the defeat was a difficult one to swallow.
“It was a tough result considering we played well and created some good chances on the day,” he said.
“But I’m afraid it was lapses in concentration that cost us, with two of their goals coming from set-pieces and one from a mistake at the back.”
Glory return to action with another away trip on Saturday 4 January, this time to AJ Kelly Park to take on Brisbane Roar.
Adelaide United 4 (Konstandopoulos 10’, Gomulka 69’, Bressan 75’, Falco 86’) Perth Glory 2 (Bramwell 37’, 49’)
Jack Smith Park
Referee: Liam Miller
Adelaide United: GK Dakota OCHSENHAM, 2.Jackson WALLS, 7.Taras GOMULKA, 11.Jai KING-BYRNE (19.Massimo FALCO 83’), 12.Yared ABETEW, 13.Daniele BRESSAN, 14.Ryan KITTO, 15.Michael CITTADINI, 10.Chen YONGBIN 65’), 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Lachlan BROOK, 22.Cooper NUNN
Substitutes not used: RGK Cameron COOK
Yellow Cards: Kitto 85’, Yongbin 88’
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2.Mason TATAFU, 4.Alessandro CIRCATI, 5.Daniel WALSH, 6.Luke BODNAR, (13.Trent OSTLER 65’), 7.Joshua RAWLINS (16.Riley WARLAND 73’), 8.Jayden LEADER, 9.Ciaran BRAMWELL, (17.Albert FULLARD 73’), 10.Giordano COLLI, 11.Charlie LEECH, 15.Nicholas WALSH
Substitutes not used: RGK Josh LANGDON
Yellow Cards: Warland 90+4’